Console Redirection with XEN and Linux for Sun iLOM/IPMI

By Tait Clarridge, Fri 07 October 2011, Category Linux

console, ipmi, xen

Having a working IPMI/ILOM card is pretty much essential when rolling out a new system to a remote location or lights-out data center. There were some issues in getting the onboard Sun IPMI card on a Sun Fire X4100 (this should work for X4140 X4200 X4600 etc) to print to both the graphical console as well as the serial when using Xen.

One of the issues is that Xen wants to grab by default ttyS0 which is what the Sun IPMI serial port is and as I understand it, have the wrong serial port settings.

So here is the configuration to get it working and sending to both the serial and regular system console (VGA, IPMI redirection via web):

Change /etc/grub.conf to have something similar to the following:

title CentOS (xen)
     root (hd0,0)
       kernel /xen.gz com1=9600,8n1
       module /vmlinuz-xen ro root=LABEL=/ console=ttyS0,9600n8 console=tty0
       module /initrd-xen.img

On the Xen kernel line there is one argument:

com1=9600,8n1 : This is the line to make the Xen console play nice with the Sun. Please note that if your IPMI console is set to another speed you will have to change 9600 to match the speed you are using.

On the system kernel line there are a few more added arguments:

console=ttyS0,9600n8 : Adding this will activate the IPMI serial console, remember that if your serial port settings are different you will need to change the 9600n8 part to whatever will match with yours.

console=tty0 : This just ensures that the output will be redirected to the default console (VGA etc.)

Edit /etc/inittab and add the below line:

co:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty ttyS0 9600 vt100-nav

Add ttyS0 to /etc/securetty

[root@tclarrltp ~]# echo "ttyS0" >> /etc/securetty

Now you should be able to see everything in the serial console via the IPMI as if it were on a monitor infront of you.